SMC Spins Off Midmarket-Focused EdgeCore Networks

In an effort to avoid brand confusion and more effectively work with partners, SMC Networks creates EdgeCore Networks to focus on cost-conscious businesses.

Networking solutions company SMC Networks announced a decision to spin off and re-brand the company's small to medium-size business (SMB) focused branch, Business Solution Group (BSG), to be named Edgecore Networks, Inc. The organization will be a subsidiary of Accton Technology. The spin off and name change, the first in the company's 33-year history, will be officially launched at Interop 2009 and reflects a desire to rebuild its brand in the reseller channel while providing a strategy designed to deliver a clearer message to the channel regarding the company's business segments and market focuses, SMC said.

Edgecore Networks features a portfolio of networking solutions that includes managed SMB/E switches, Metro Access solutions and a variety of business-class WiFi solutions, tied together through a network management system. SMC said it reached the decision as the company dealt with issues of brand confusion created by the company's Service Provider Group, which provides networking solutions to consumers via service providers, and BSG, which delivers switching solutions to companies in the SMB, hospitality, and high performance computing (HPC) markets.

Though new to North America, SMC's Edgecore brand was launched four years ago in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), Africa and parts of Asia in order to focus on developing markets and test their ability to sell and support networking solutions including Metro Ethernet, Wi-Max, Performance Switching and Edge Switching. While Edgecore Networks will not ship Wi-Max into the US market, they plan to launch an enterprise wireless solution in the second quarter of 2010.

Keith Alexis, vice president of sales for SMC (BSG) and general manager of Edgecore Networks, said this decision was completely driven with the needs of their channel, their technology partners and installed corporate user base in mind where focus dictates simplicity in the brand strategy. "A valuable lesson that we learned seven years ago, when our brand was growing in various markets, was not to confuse our customers and partners," he said.

According to Alexis, as the market evolved and SMC continued its aggressive level of growth, the company found itself being asked by its channel partners to clarify their branding positions. "One day we're part of the fastest supercomputer in the world and the next we're releasing a new consumer router," he said. "This made it difficult for partners to position us, but more importantly for the SMB and large corporate end users to understand us."

Edgecore will also continue a dual-brand strategy with SMC for the next 3 years to allow customers time to get use to its new product lines. Alexis said that growth of over 40 percent last year combined with the aggressive expansion of 2009 should make 2010 a banner year for Edgecore. "By bringing the now-proven name and product portfolio of Edgecore to North America and combining it with SMC Networks' BSG Division and its existing line of business-class networking solutions, we're able to effectively create a marketing and brand strategy designed to enable even more accelerated growth for both business groups and their partners, provide a broader line of value-packed high-performance network infrastructure and management solutions to our SMB/e and vertical segments, and provide a channel program that delivers a powerful combination of products, services and support that will enable our reseller partners to be even more profitable," he said.